Viridian Gate Online is more than just a game… and now, it's Alan Campbell’s whole world.
Recently deceased and squishy as hell, Alan, a newly minted Illusionist, is forced to flee for his life. He needs time to deal with his loss, both in-game and IRL, but first he’ll have to escape his crazy ex, the treacherous Firebrand, Thalia Daceran.
On his way to safety and revenge, he’ll team up with Titus, the Imperial spymaster, as well as a crew of pirates, commandos, and even a shapeshifting Mimic with a taste for blood. His path leads to Wyrdtide, a gaslit city hidden in mists and governed by dark demigods.
But even with Alan dead, the world marches on. Will the government seize control of V.G.O.? Did Horace, the blind beggar, really die? And whatever happened to Jeff? Find answers, new purpose, and the machinations of the gods in this action-packed continuation of the Illusionist Series.
My Opinion: 323 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Another good story set in the VGO universe. Of the multiple expanded universe stories set there, this is the one that has the best storytelling potential. It’s set 1 year before the events of book 1 of the main VGO series, so it has so much time to play with, especially if you start adding in time compression. Also because Allen is the first person to get trapped in the game and is thus the only player there, there is almost unlimited room to world build. The story feels a little forced sometimes, especially with the weird hatred from Thalia, but I understand there has to be some force driving the MC to get stronger and leave his starter aera. It can always be chalked up the game trying to create content for Alan, the only player.
There is still some good action-adventure here with the MC leaving his starting area and exploring the larger world. You get new locations, new characters, new kinds of technology, and of course new creatures to fight. Of the new characters, my favorite is Nil, especially their background and the way they interacted with the MC. I could actually see this character spin off into some really cool short stories.
Personally, while I enjoyed this novel, I liked it a little less than book 1 for two reasons: 1) Not a big fan of steampunk, flintlock, pirates, or sea battles. 2) The IRL storyline feels super sparse and unimportant and only really there this book so that cameos by Osmark and others can be seen. Book 3 might make the IRL storyline more important, but for now it feels like all the important IRL stuff happened in book 1.
Overall, still a good entertaining story that has enough room to be its own thing and still give you a connection to the VGO universe.
Score: 7.2 out of 10